Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Meaning Behind Spoon Rings...

Just came across an interesting blog post about spoon rings and wanted to share. The artist who posted is someone we work with at Creative Genius. Her name is Jennifer Northup and she makes wonderful silverware jewelry. Actually her jewelry is like no other silverware jewelry I have ever seen (and in my 8 years working in this industry, I have seen quite a bit!). Her necklaces and rings are welcome additions at Creative Genius and our clients really like how unique her take on silverware jewelry is. Her blog post is below...who would have thought that spoon rings were so romantic?


The many meanings of Spoon Rings...

Spoon rings originated in 17th century England. There are some things that retain their general meaning across centuries and across oceans. Made from spoons that servants had stolen from their masters’ homes, the rings were used as wedding rings by those who could not afford the “real thing”. Spoon rings still represent the meaning of love and commitment that they once did.

The centuries old Welsh custom of giving "love spoons" meant a would-be suitor gave a spoon to a girl he wished to court. A practice that originated in the 15th century, the suitor often carved the spoon himself or commissioned a spoon. Spoons became very ornate with symbols of love and promise.

Give that special someone that you love a Spoon Ring and let the tradition continue.

Photos shown ©2010 by George Post for Silver Spoon Jewelry

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Keeping Your Creativity Alive

It's a busy world we live in. People have kids/jobs/spouses/hobbies/chores (and in many cases, all of the above) and it is a real struggle to remain true to oneself and stay in the moment while enjoying one's own spirit of creativity. I have often found myself and many other creative people often need to take time to re-energize their inner selves in order to continue to be as creative as they are fully capable of being.  It is a difficult thing to choose to do, especially these days. But it can be done!

I came across a blog from a Brooklyn blogger named Eleanor Traubman about maintaining creativity in the crazy world in which we all live and thought it relevant enough to share some of the highlights. A big thank you to Ms. Traubman of Creative Times, a blog for artists and entrepreneurs.

1. Live simply and live deliberately. By choosing not to get caught up in the details of this fast-paced world, you are doing your part to slow down the . You will also discover that you have more time to enjoy being alive.

2. Stay in touch with yourself. Soul searching, meditation, and journaling are just a few of the many activities you can take part in to stay aware and learn as much as you can about your emotions, reactions, likes, dislikes, dreams, and fears. Having a solid sense of self gives you a firm foundation for living in this world.

3. Support or teach others as often as you can. This can help you form connections with people while also giving you an opportunity to make the world a better place.

4. Consciously choose what you will allow into your being. The media bombards us with visions of hate, war, and pain. Be judicious about what you read, watch, and listen to.

5. Acknowledge the beauty that resides around you. Whether you live in a sprawling metropolis or a stereotypical suburb, there are natural and man-made wonders just waiting to be discovered by you.

6. Nurture your ties to your tribe. If you don’t have one, create a community that you can belong to. Modern life can be isolating. When you have a tribe, you have a circle that you are a part of. Its members – loved ones, friends, or neighbors - can be a source of support, caring, guidance, and companionship.

7. See the larger picture. Remember that the way that you choose to live is not the only way to live. Widen your perspective by exploring other modes of being through research, travel, and discussion.

Embrace the challenges that life presents to you, and challenge yourself often. After a time, even the most exciting jobs or lifestyles can seem routine. Never stop assimilating new knowledge about whatever you are doing, and your life will never seem dull.

9. Move your body. In this busy world, it can be easy to live a sedentary life. Movement reacquaints us with our bodies and connects us to the earth in a visceral way. It also restores our vitality.

10. Make time for stillness, silence, and solitude. The world can be noisy, and we are subject to all kinds of noises nearly every waking hour. We are also often "on the go" and unable to relax. Being alone in a peaceful place and making time for quiet can help you stay in touch with yourself.

Friday, June 3, 2011

New Permanent Mosaic Exhibit at Creative Genius!

I am going to start this post by saying a great big thank you to Diane Emerson, the wonderful artist responsible for the permanent mosaic exhibit, now displayed on the outside of Creative Genius Art Gallery & Studio.

My husband Chris spent yesterday evening installing the exhibit and I am so excited about how it turned out, I can't even begin to describe it. I took some pictures to share how our evening went and show the progression of things being installed. Thank you, Chris, for doing such a great job with those wonderful works of art!

I am especially excited about this because it showcases one of my favorite local artists who is also one of the nicest people around. She deserves every bit of praise she receives because she truly is a talented and professional individual. We're proud to showcase not only this exhibit but other works of art available for sale from her on a regular basis. She is going to be creating some smaller mirrored mosaics for sale at Creative Genius. The exhibit is not for sale but those smaller ones will be. I have a feeling they will be like candy for the eyes and folks won't be able to get just one. The look of mirrored mosaics has always been a favorite of mine so what better pieces of art to showcase on the outside of Creative Genius...

Chris during installation

Lots of drilling needed for this install!

Lots of stuff needed to make the install happen!

Here's the press release that describes the exhibit:
Medford Gallery Installs Permanent Exhibition by Local Artist

MEDFORD, NJCreative Genius Art Gallery and Studio welcomes permanent mosaic exhibition by Medford artist, Diane Emerson.

Side view of part of the exhibit
Creative Genius Art Gallery and Studio, located at 32 North Main Street in Medford, NJ, has just installed a unique permanent exhibit you won’t want to miss. The outside of the gallery is now the home of nine one-of-a-kind mirrored mosaic tiles by Diane Emerson. The tiles depict various unique creations and unique class offerings that describe all that Creative Genius Art Gallery and Studio offers. All the scenes on each mosaic were created using custom ceramic tiles individually crafted by the artist as well as a colorful combination of ceramic, glass and mirrored tiles. Each tile is a true work of art and shows the creativity, color, design elements and attention to detail that Diane Emerson is known for in all her creative works.

Diane works out of her Medford home studio. A retired art teacher, she began working with tile over 30 years ago at Pemberton Township High School. Her students have created many of the mosaic murals and tile pieces that still adorn the school’s walls today.

The artist likes to use handmade tile pieces and mirror in her designs in her mosaics. The handmade tile adds another dimension to the work…glazes that puddle, raised uneven surfaces and a one of a kind look. The mirror adds a little eye-catching whimsy. To quote song writer Stephen Sondheim“ bit by bit, piece by piece…putting it together, only way to make a work of art ”. 

The exhibit sees the light of day!
In addition to her unique mosaic creations, Diane is also a skilled ceramic artist. Her works are available for sale in many venues throughout the region and proudly, one of those venues is Creative Genius Art Gallery and Studio.

For more information about Diane Emerson or the permanent exhibition at Creative Genius, please contact Julie Basello-Holt at or by phone (609) 714-1131.

Creative Genius Art Gallery & Studio is on the web at

Thursday, June 2, 2011

10 Important Reasons to Shop Local

The latest buzz in recent years, in the face of our country's economic woes on many fronts, is how important it is to shop locally whenever possible. Personally, I couldn't agree more. In fact, eight years ago, when I opened Creative Genius Art Gallery & Studio, it was because I believed in shopping locally and wanted to create a store that I would want to shop in, located in the town I lived in.

There are so many varied reasons, depending upon who you speak to, as to why shopping local is better for everyone and for the local community and economy. Just visit if you aren't quite sure about the details and the statistics related to shopping locally. It is all quite an education and one I think we all need, even if it is just  refresher course for some of us. Right now the downtown suburban Main Street on which Creative Genius resides is dangerously in need of more local shops and places to visit and it is scary how quickly a small area can go from a thriving business district to a not-so-thriving business district. The lesson is that it is all of our responsibilities to support the local economy.

I came across this interesting list of "10 Important Reasons to Shop Local" and figured it would be worth it to share it. Thank you to for the interesting article (and if you want to visit it for yourself, I've included a link)....

A person who shops locally, often known as a “locavore,” helps to sustain not only the environment, but also the economy. Buying locally not only supports your community but also reduces the amount of carbon emissions and pollution because goods do not need to be transported across wide areas and consumers do not need to travel as far to obtain their items. Consider becoming a locavore. As a conscious consumer you will live a more sustainable life and help your community grow. 

1) Local Economy
Your own neighborhood will benefit when you choose to shop locally. Local small business owners tend to keep more money in the community than nationally owned businesses. They also tend to source from other local business, services, and farms, continuing the local trend.

2) Job Growth
Local businesses provide local jobs. This has a chain reaction effect on sustainability and economy. When people are employed, they have more money to invest in the community. They will not have to commute to far away jobs, thus reducing pollution. 

3) Community Support
Local businesses invest heavily in the community. They are more likely to support charitable organizations. When you shop locally, you are helping to support your community through your purchasing power.

4) Better Service
If a small business or farm is trying to earn and maintain your business, chances are they will treat you really well. What is the motivation for a big-box store to make you happy, when millions of other shoppers will replace your business should you choose to shop somewhere else?

5) Environmental Impact
Aside from your food transportation causing pollution, when you have to drive across town to run errands, you are polluting the earth. If your local area has a diverse array of businesses that you can walk or bike to, imagine the potential positive environmental impact. Go green! By supporting these businesses, you will help maintain a thriving local community for everyone.

6) Maintain Diversity
Part of the charm of local businesses is the diversity and uniqueness that it provides to a neighborhood. Big chain stores have taken this away and Main St. America has started to die. Bringing back community supported businesses restores this charm and diversity to neighborhoods and cities.

7) Save Money
Shopping locally can save you a lot of money and time. Gas is expensive, and so is repairing and maintaining a car. Plus, you are more likely to get in an accident in crowded Saturday morning traffic than if you stroll to your neighborhood downtown area. 

8) Know your products
Local businesses are providers of services are experts. Do you remember the last time you walked into that large store looking for expertise? Did you find it? What about when you asked your grocery store produce person when something was in season or if it was fresh. Local providers tend to be able to answer these questions more successfully than the big box people.

9) Competition
There is nothing worse than a monopoly coming into town, driving up prices and diminishing customer service. Local businesses keep competition higher in order to ensure the best prices and highest quality service. Your dollars mean a lot more to a small business than a large store. You can vote with your dollars when you shop locally.

10) Entrepreneurs
Store owners are living the American dream, and by supporting them, you are helping to keep the dream alive, and to maintain a strong and thriving middle class in your community. 

The best lesson from this article: Be a locavore!

To visit this article on the web, got to